Roadies

June 6th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Like the Willie Nelson tune, HG/BSK are “On The Road Again.” Destination: Prince Edward Island Island and HG/BSK’s oceanfront home. It will be a delight to be back in Canada, a democracy with an enlightened leader. First stop on the trip was Amarillo, Texas, and Tyler’s BBQ for splendid sliced brisket, dry rubbed ribs, pulled pork, cole slaw, beans and pickles. Lots of icy pink lemonade. Tyler’s is a visit to down home America, warm, honest and tasty. Next leg of trip was to St. Louis and then on to Youngstown, Ohio. Stayed in two La Quintas and a Holiday Express, all dog friendly and welcoming for Toby, The Wonder Dog, HG/BSK’s travel companion. Yes, America has some frightening flaws but two things the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave does superlatively: Tyler’s Barbecue. Chain motels. (Great beds, TV,sparkling bathrooms, free wi-fi, plenty of hot water and ice, efficient toilets,free breakfast, modest prices). Had to make time so didn’t stop at eateries like Sawadee Thai in Rolla, Mo. or Shapiro’s Jewish Deli, Indianapolis. Opted for quick meals at Waffle House. No complaints. Big bowls of buttery grits with perfect poached eggs; softly scrambled eggs with onion topped home fries. Waffles, of course. Reminded HG of artist Saul Steinberg’s advice: “If you want to eat well in the midwest of the USA, eat breakfast three times a day.” Arrived at the Riva home in Riverside, R.I., after a struggle with Connecticut Friday night traffic jams. Brilliant (and beautiful) granddaughter Arianna was there to welcome the hungry duo with San Daniele prosciutto, crisp bread sticks, bowls of steaming chicken broth with tortellini. Warm and comforting finale to the days on the road.

Nifty Neighbors

May 29th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Among the blessings of HG/BSK’s life in New Mexico are the neighbors that surround HG/BSK. Film producers, historians, poets, artists, scientists, theater folk, etc.. All lovers of life, food and wine. HG/BSK had a splendid dinner with Fred (a scientist and Yachtsman) and Mary (a teacher and authority on theater arts). Appetizer was Marcona almonds and fresh radishes with coarse salt (HG knocked off much icy vodka). Dinner featured pan broiled lamb chops, a warm Middle Eastern puree of garbanzos, broiled tomatoes. Good red wine. Dessert was Mary’s Mom’s bread pudding custard. A wow. Later in the week had an unusual dinner with Karen K. (film producer) and David F. (historian/novelist/educator). Karen posed the question: “Why not have great breakfast food for dinner?” Her response was a dinner of blueberry waffles, plain waffles, rashers of thick cut bacon, New Hampshire maple syrup. All washed down with champagne and orange juice Mimosas. HG/BSK doggybagged some blueberry and plain waffles. Topped the plain waffles with poached eggs for breakfast and finished with blueberry waffles and blueberry jam. Morning joy. HG/BSK’s next door neighbors are Garry and Natasha G. Their acreage produces the best organic vegetables in New Mexico, There is always a long line at Mister G’s, their stand at the Santa Fe Farmers market. All is sold out in a flash. BSK managed to procure a few small heads of escarole that were picked that morning. That night BSK produced a pot of escarole cooked with chicken broth, onions, garlic, parsley, olive oil, red chile flakes. Crisp bacon was added plus lots of grated parmesan. Mister G’s escarole made a big difference. BSK’s kitchen wizardry gave the escarole a savory crunch.

Take That, Bluto!

May 16th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Spring is in fully flower filled glory in New Mexico and BSK is treating HG to perfectly steamed, plump and juicy asparagus. Alas, asparagus is not always in season. Thus, in BSK’s perpetual emphasis on healthy eating, BSK often turns to spinach. No, not any spinach. Baby spinach is BSK’s choice. Provides the perfect bedding for steamed sole or flounder. It is an essential ingredient in BSK’s comforting stracciatella (See HG post on this subject). The green is a lovely complement for BSK’s glorious paillards of chicken thighs drenched in a butter, olive oil, lemon and caper sauce. When HG was a little fellow, HG despised spinach. HG’s late Mom tricked HG into eating the hated stuff. “Hitten treshes” she would announce in her rich Yiddish accent. She was describing “hidden treasures”, a dish she learned about from a radio program. Mom would mash and whip boiled potatoes and chicken fat (Nu? What else?). Mom would make plump spheroids of the spuds and stuff them with spinach. Dusted them with kosher salt and black pepper. Little HG would wolf them down. It would never have occurred to HG’s beloved Mom that the abundance of chicken fat might negate the health benefits of the spinach. (In case you younger HG followers don’t understand the headline, permit HG to clarify. Bluto was a nasty villain in the Popeye movie cartoons and comic strip. He would attack poor Olive Oil, Popeye’s girl friend, after buffeting Popeye. Our hero would then swallow a bowl of spinach. Thus energized, he would beat the hell out that big brute, Bluto. The message was clear: Eat your spinach, kids.)

American Fascism? Has it Arrived?

May 13th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Dark, dark days. Obviously, Der Trumperer and his spineless Republican minions will do their utmost to cover up Der Trumperer’s collusion with Russia before and after the election. HG’s grim prediction: Der Trumperer will cement his relationship with Putin in order to give Russian hackers a free hand to influence the coming elections. Is this the end of the American democracy ? Possibly. Been reading Gore Vidal’s essays and memoirs. His view of the future of, as he called it, “Imperial America”, seem ever more prescient.

Quirky Grocers

April 11th, 2017 § 2 comments § permalink

The Santa Fe grocers are quirky. Products appear and disappear. Staples change location as the grocers are always remodeling. HG was delighted when Trader Joe’s began displaying excellent canned Indian food (paneer and spinach was a big winner as was dal). Suddenly disappeared. When HG inquired, the manager replied that they were so popular that customers stocked up with dozens of cans. Had no idea if those good things would ever reappear. TJ’s bone-in, Frenched pork chops appeared on HG /BSK’s dinner plates frequently. Gone from TJ’s meat section. Whole Foods could always be relied upon for preserved lemons, an essential in BSK’s Moroccan tagines. No more. Gone. Fresh herbs (except for cilantro) can no longer be found at Pojoaque Super Market. Fortunately, it seems as one product disappears, a new delicious treat will take its place (for a time!).

Our Christian Nation?

March 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

“VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, IN AS MUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME.” Well, the “least” of our brethren– the old, the poor, school children–are being bludgeoned by Der Trumperer’s militarist budget and a health care plan that gives big tax breaks to the rich and deprives 24,000,000 Americans of health insurance. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said “after school programs don’t show results.” So, no more funding. He proposed cuts in the programs that provide nutrition to the aged. And that includes the “Meals on Wheels” program which, incidentally, keeps my aged, infirm mother in law and her husband alive. All of this seems to contradict Christian values as espoused by the dizzying variety of Christian institutions (plus the numerous sects). Isn’t it time for all Christians to protest? Or, has Jesus Christ been re-characterized as a left wing Jewish agitator? Mulvaney demands that programs “show results.” Well, American Christianity can’t prove beneficial results: Sin continues to flourish with no end in sight. Like Der Trumperer’s wire tapping claims, no tangible evidence has been provided that heaven and hell exist. Given Mulvaney’s reasoning, shouldn’t government support of religion (in the form of massive tax breaks) be removed?

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Ominous Lookalikes

February 22nd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

In 1942, Germany’s Der Fuhrer was given new powers by the dummy Reichstag. Der Fuhrer was given discretionary powers in the administration of justice. In other words, no judicial restraint. The Reichstag made it clear: “At present in Germany there are no rights, only duties.” Does this seem similar to Der Trumperer’s view that Der Trumperer can do anything in the name of national security without regard for constitutionality or judicial restraint? Joseph Goebbels commented on Der Fuhrer’s new powers: “The bourgeois era with its false and misleading notion of humaneness is over.” Lackeys Spicer and Kellyanne haven’t gone that far. Yet. Marie Vassiltchikov (who worked in the Nazi bureaucracy 1940-1945) commented in her “Berlin Diaries”: “If people only knew how inefficiently this whole machine works under the semblance of a well-oiled bureaucracy, they would be amazed.” Der Trumperer told a press conference recently in reply to questions about his administration’s stumbling: “We’re running like a fine tuned machine.” Indeed. Also, please tell me me how Der Trumperer’s craven rubber stamp Congress differs from Der Fuhrer’s Reichstag? As for Der Trumperer’s disgraceful omission of Jews from his Holocaust statement and very belated response to questions about the escalating attacks on Jews in the United States, this is a nod to Der Trumperer’s ardent supporters, the Alt-Right aka Nazis. Obviously, Bannon is working like a “fine tuned machine.”

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Lincoln Weeps

February 18th, 2017 § 1 comment § permalink

With Abraham Lincoln’s Day soon upon us, HG has been thinking about the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, the Grand Old Party. HG’s thoughts are dire. The party that once stood for rational conservatism and provided a needed check upon government powers, has descended to the lowest level of cowardice. More and more it could be likened to a large pile of excreta. Consider its latest outrage. Our so called President, Der Trumperer, acknowledged International Holocaust Remembrance Day without any mention of Jews and Hitler’s “final solution”, the total extermination of Europe’s Jewish population. Yes, it is proper to remember that the Third Reich consigned many others to death camps. Among them were Gays. Romanys. Political opponents. The physically impaired. Etc., etc. However, the words “The Holocaust”, refer specifically to the Nazi murder of some 6,000,000 Jews. International Holocaust Remembrance Day was created to honor the memory of those murdered Jews and to warn against future genocide. Was Steve Bannon,behind Der Trumperer’s omission? Quite possible. When Der Trumperer’s senior adviser was running Breitbart News, he said it provided a platform for the Alt Right a.k.a White Supremacists a.k.a. Nazis. The Republicans in Congress had a chance to remedy Der Trumperer’s injustice. Rep. Joe Crowley (D.-NY) called for a vote in the House of Representatives on a resolution sponsored by 100 Democrats emphasizing that the Nazis targeted Jews during The Holocaust and requesting the White House to affirm that fact. The lumps of filth a.k.a. Republican Congressmen. blocked the effort in a party line vote. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said the Republican Party, was “in the camp of Holocaust denial.” HG agrees. Lincoln weeps.

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Instant Pot

February 16th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

BSK bought an Instant Pot, a miraculous pressure cooker that cooks food in a fraction of the time the food would spend in the oven. And, it tastes good. On Super Bowl day, BSK used the Pot to make savory pulled pork. And, on this chilly New Mexico day (65 degrees yesterday and 35 degrees today), BSK made congee in the Instant Pot. For the uninitiated, congee is Asian rice porridge (also called “jook”). It is a wonderfully soothing comfort food. BSK enhanced the congee with ginger and dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms (they plumped up beautifully). Tossed in a few scallions. When served, the steaming bowls got a topping of chopped scallions, a splash of sesame oil and a scattering of salted peanuts. HG had sumptuous refills. Perfect dining after watching HG’s beloved New York Knicks defeat the mighty San Antonio Spurs. HG still loves Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk. One of Der Trumperer’s lackeys called New York the “people’s republic.” It is, indeed. Long may it reign.

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The Central Park Five And Der Trumperer

February 13th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG/BSK watched the searing Ken Burns documentary, “The Central Park Five” and, once more, were made aware of the depth of American racism and the vicious tactics of police in forcing confessions from unfortunate, young, minority men. Permit HG to refresh your memory: On April 19, 1989 a young, white female jogger in New York’s Central Park was raped and brutally beaten. Five young men, ages 14 to 16, were present in the park that night. Four of the youngsters were African-American and the fifth was Puerto Rican. Seized by police, the frightened and befuddled youngsters underwent 36 sleepless hours of aggressive interrogation. They subsequently made televised confessions to the crime. As one youngster said: “We’d say anything. We just wanted to go home.” In trials of May 1, 1989 and December, 1990 all were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms of five to fifteen years. The evidence against them was inconclusive. DNA analysis did not link any of the young men to the victim and the crime scene. Some years later, another man, a convicted rapist and murderer, confessed to the crime. His confession with an abundance of circumstantial details left no doubt that he was the actual attacker of the young woman. After rigorous analysis by then New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and his staff, the Central Park Five were freed. Later, they won a $41,000,000 suit against New York City for false arrest and imprisonment, the sum of $1,000,000 for each of the collective 41 years they spent in prison. This sad miscarriage of justice provided an early insight to the character of our so called President, Der Trumperer. In 1989, Der Trumperer was a publicity hungry real estate developer. On April 19, 1989, the future Der Trumperer took full page ads in the leading New York newspapers one month before the trial of The Five. These inflammatory ads (defense lawyers said they influenced the juries) called for the “death penalty for criminals of every age.” Furthermore, the ads stated “criminals must be told that their civil rights ended when an attack on our safety begins.” In connection with the ads, he told television interviewer Larry King: “Maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done.” And that’s the essence of Der Trumperer: Disregard and contempt for the law, glorification of hate and a huge bill at the end of the day for ignoring our Constitution.

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